Can I Sue My Chiropractor for Back Injuries?

A person having their back examined by a doctor

Visiting a chiropractor can provide welcome relief for people living with chronic pain or people recovering from an injury. While chiropractors are often welcome medical care providers who do great work for their clients, chiropractor work sometimes doesn’t work at all. It might even make things worse. Becoming the victim of chiropractic care gone wrong can leave you feeling lost and frustrated.

If you’ve had a bad experience with a chiropractor in Tampa, you might want to know if there’s anything that you can do to get compensation. With the help of a skilled Tampa medical malpractice attorney, you may be able to bring a claim against your chiropractor. Here’s what Florida law says about suing your chiropractor if your back pain gets worse after treatment.

Can I Sue My Chiropractor for Making My Back Injury Worse?

Yes, you can sue your chiropractor for making your back injury worse if you can show that your condition worsened because of negligence or intentional misconduct by your chiropractor. The grounds for legal liability for chiropractic treatment in Florida is that the chiropractor breached the duty of reasonable medical care in a way that caused your injury to get worse.

You compare what the chiropractor did to treat you to what a reasonable chiropractor could have done in the same situation. If your chiropractor’s treatment falls below reasonable standards of care, you may hold your chiropractor liable for your injuries.

Negligence and Intentional Tort Lawsuits Against Your Chiropractor

Most lawsuits against chiropractors are either negligence lawsuits or an intentional misconduct lawsuit. An intentional tort lawsuit means that a chiropractor did something to hurt you on purpose. It could be an assault and battery or a sexual assault under the guise of medical treatment.

An intentional tort may be subtle. You may not even know that you’re a victim; you may just know that something isn’t quite right. An intentional tort may also be a crime. If you’re concerned about what may have happened when you sought chiropractic treatment, contact us. We can help you examine whether you can bring a civil claim and even help you report the case to licensing authorities and the police.

A negligence case is based on professional standards of chiropractic care. A chiropractor must provide competent care based on their training and experience. In Tampa, the standard is what’s appropriate care based on local, professional norms.

Florida recognizes chiropractic specialties. If your chiropractor has a licensed specialty, their care must be consistent with the care that a similarly-situated specialist could provide. If their care falls below what’s reasonable based on professional standards, and you can connect that failure with your increased back pain, you may be able to bring a claim based on negligence.

Florida Laws Governing Chiropractors

Florida law has a lot to say about chiropractors. The general laws that apply to all medical professionals apply to chiropractors, but the Chiropractic Practice Act, Chapter 460 of Florida law, also creates rules for how chiropractors conduct business.

Acting Outside the Scope of Practice May Be Chiropractic Malpractice

Florida law 460.403 requires chiropractors licensed in the state to stay within the scope of their practice. They can’t do things that licensed chiropractors aren’t allowed to do. Prohibited behavior for chiropractors include all of the following types of medical care:

Prescribing drugs
Prescribing oxygen
Using diagnostic instruments they’re not trained to use
Cancer treatments
Leukemia treatments

If your chiropractor tries any of these treatments, there’s a good chance that they’re acting negligently based on Florida’s professional standards.

A Bad Outcome Is Not Necessarily Malpractice

Sometimes, a chiropractor may not be effective to treat your back pain. An adverse outcome in and of itself isn’t necessarily grounds for a legal claim. You have to show that your back pain got worse because of something that the chiropractor did wrong.

For example, if your chiropractor fails to diagnose your medical condition and set up the right treatment plan because your condition is rare and complex, you may not necessarily have a medical malpractice claim. On the other hand, if you have a common condition with apparent symptoms and your chiropractor doesn’t make the right diagnosis, you may have an excellent case for medical malpractice. It all depends on the unique circumstances of your case and what’s reasonable for a chiropractor in their shoes.

Florida Chiropractor Exploitation for Financial Gain

Another way that medical malpractice can occur with a chiropractor is exploitation for financial gain. A chiropractor must only provide medically necessary treatment. If they provide extra treatment just to pad the bill, they violate Florida law 460.413. You can rely on other medical experts to show how your chiropractic care was unnecessary and fell below standards of care that are reasonable in your local area.

Massage Therapy Services With Chiropractic Care in Florida

Florida law regulates how massage therapists provide their services through chiropractor’s offices. The massage therapist’s services must be licensed. The massage therapist may be licensed through the chiropractic office, but if the therapist brings in their own, private clients who aren’t connected to the chiropractic office, the massage therapist must have a separate license. If you’re concerned about massage services that you receive at a chiropractor’s office, including if it makes your back pain worse, you may have a claim against your chiropractor’s office.

Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help

Did your back pain get worse after you got chiropractic treatment? We know it can leave you feeling worried and angry. Let our team review your case and help you explore your options. Chiropractors are medical care providers, so Florida’s rules for medical malpractice cases apply to them. There are steps that you must take to bring a valid claim for recovery if your chiropractor makes your back pain worse.

With thousands of satisfied clients for all types of medical malpractice cases, we can help you every step of the way. Jack Bernstein has years of experience providing aggressive, compassionate and strategic care to deserving victims. Contact us today to connect immediately to a professional member of our team. Let’s fight to get you the results that you deserve.